Wildwood Discovery Park, Herne Common, is celebrating its first spring baby, a beautiful Konik foal.
Conservation grazing projects throughout Europe have used Konik horses for wetland grazing projects.
Wildwood Trust pioneered the re-introduction of these horses to Britain in 2002. It brought the first ever of their breed to arrive in southern England and these horses and their offspring have been helping to restore some of the most precious national nature reserves in the UK.
The new foal is the first of the wild horses to be born this year and is thought to herald the arrival of spring at the wildlife park.
The filly was born last week and has already been spotted practising running around her enclosure.
Senior keeper Alan Keeling said “This is an exciting time of year when we have births at the park. The new foal is doing very well; she is strong and healthy and is mixing well with the rest of the herd.”
Konik foals are able to stand as early as an hour after birth and start walking and running soon after in order to keep up with the herd. The foal will be weaned at around two months and will be eating grass with the rest of the herd by the time she is five months old.
At present, most of the trust’s herd are grazing at nature reserves around the county. Wildwood Trust runs Woodland Discovery Park, a visitor attraction which forms part of their strategy to save native and once-native wildlife from extinction.
Wildwood includes a forest enclosure where Konik horses retired from the trust’s main herds can spend their days, providing the many visitors with a good look at the remarkable breed.